This month, the United States honors slain journalists Natalya Estemirova and Paul Klebnikov. Klebnikov, a Forbes magazine journalist and U.S. citizen, investigated and exposed corruption in post-Soviet Russia. On July 9, 2004, he was shot and killed in Moscow, likely in retaliation for his work. Estemirova exposed the egregious human rights violations committed during the Second Chechen War as a human rights activist and journalist for Novaya Gazeta. Estemirova was abducted in Grozny, Chechnya and killed on July 15, 2009.
The organizers and perpetrators of these heinous murders were never brought to justice, and violence and pressure against journalists continues with impunity in Russia. The United States condemns the Russian government’s ongoing crackdown on independent media and stands in solidarity with independent Russian journalists and human rights defenders.
Estemirova’s and Klebnikov’s legacies will live on in their work, in the next generation of brave reporters they have inspired, and in the fight for human rights and against corruption in Russia.